Heart of the BeastBook - 2001
Bringing us to the golden plains of northeast Oregon, Joyce Weatherford presents the saga of the Steele family -- a family built not on love but on farming. Twenty-eight-year-old Iris Steele has inherited the 150-year-old family ranch and all the debt that goes with it -- a legacy, all in all, she is not certain she wants. It is the ranch where Iris has spent her life, where she grew up herding cattle and harvesting wheat, and where her brother and her father both died. It is also, it turns out, the land once owned by the Nez Perce Indian tribe, and suddenly the modern Nez Perce are suing to reclaim what they say is rightfully theirs.
To save the ranch, Iris must spend months untangling generations of family history to understand the land's legitimate ownership -- a process that unearths not only her family past but also the history of the American West and two hundred years of tortured relationships between homesteaders and Native Americans. Meanwhile, she is fighting t